For the past 2 weeks I have had the urge to blog again. The urge has been felt while I have been on my yoga mat. I took the BIG leap of getting myself to my very FIRST Mysore class two weeks ago. It was such an amazing experience to find the discipline & courage to do my very own practice. 2.5 years of yoga have now made me ready to go deeper within, to breathe without an external voice & to crave to practice all by myself.
I feel that I am on a new journey in my yoga practice both physically, mentally & outside of the mat. The sudden urge to blog is probably because I want to verbalize my new journey of a more disciplined yoga journey with an outside world.
Let this new journey begin.
Something magical have happened with my yoga practice for the past 2 weeks! I have only practiced 3 times during this time & haven’t been practicing consistently for over a months time, still yet my body has opened up to a new level. I call it magic. This magic makes me wonder whether there is a correlation between the body/mind & spirit not only in the physical aspect of yoga but also the mental. I’m wondering if my mental openness & acceptance of myself has aided in opening up my hips, strengthening my core & deepened my breathing. There is a saying that we store our emotions in our hips…..& I really have started to wonder if that could be true.
Just to give you an insight. Here are some magical changes that have occurred in my yoga practice for the past 2 weeks:
– got balance in my handstand to stay inverted for 10 seconds +
– finding my fingers in the pretzel asana as I call it, which is the Marichyasana D pose in Ashtanga. Got to feel my fingers yesterday & what an enlightening feeling I had! This has never ever happened before.
– tortoise pose!!! I can now stretch my legs in kurmasana & this pose feels really good! It feels like you are in your own little den in there. Never enjoyed it before even though my Ashtanga teacher always mentioned that it will give you a relaxing feeling….for me it used to be one of the dreading ones.
So my take-away today is that things are possible to anyone! With patience, practice & acceptance – your body will eventually allow you to deepen & open up your inner & physical self. But it will come to you when you least expect it.
Below is a progress picture of my handstand. 3 months ago I was swinging & cheating myself with twisting my feet around a tree branch. Now I’m able to hold still in a handstand without the help of the tree. It’s an amazing feeling finding a inverted balance!
Psst…..I used to never in my life be able to handstand without a wall before. This is the first time I get to defy gravity for real.
You might have noticed, I have been quiet for some time. Haven’t really had anything philosophical on my mind that I have been wanting to write about. On top of it – I haven’t yogad as frequently as I have been wanting to. However, during this week I got to both have play time with my beautiful friend Elaina (@elainapalmer), who was visiting the island. I got to know her from Instagram & we went out on a yoga excursion. It was soo much fun! Two mamas doing asanas & upside down poses in the sand with a baby patiently playing with his rice crackers.
To be honest, ever since I started taking my selfie yoga shots with Instagram, my inner youth has appeared again. I don’t feel embarrassed to be upside down taking pictures on the beach by myself or doing pretzel asanas in the grass while trying to press the remote control button. It’s a lot of fun! Instagram has unleashed my inner childhood & I think it is beautiful! We all need to just relax & let go & be children – no matter what age we are.
So I guess today’s inspiration is to let go of your inner child & just play! Whether it is by being upside down in the sand or by skateboarding yourself around the neighborhood. Let go & be free cause life is too short to be all adult-like all day long.
So I have come to realize that I need a new yoga mat…..I currently have a Gaiam mat but my hands always slide when they get a little sweaty – especially when I am standing in downward dog. It mainly happens when I breathe myself through my 5 breaths in Ashtanga. The sweatiness & the sliding have started to irritate me like a little fly who keeps swirling around you when you are in your biggest moment of not wanting to be disturbed…..so I think I am a little overdue in needing a new mat. The eco-friendly & conservative me says that I should wait & the splurging materialistic & realistic person in me says that I need a new mat NOW. Just that the good yoga mats are expensive….so I have to put my yoga pants splurging on hold for a bit.
I have heard about the Jade mat & also looked at the Lululemon mat….but as what it looks like right now I am leaning towards the Jade mat. Any of my yogi/ini friends who have any suggestions to any other yoga mat brands?
So ever since my hot yoga spree I made this past weekend I have suffered from a terrible cold. As of now I’m in the last phase of the congestion/mucus mode & it is Thursday…..my hot yoga was this past Saturday. So doing hot yoga while being sick is not recommended as it can really take a tool on your body.
While I’m in this last phase of recovery I lost my tastebuds & smell function…..I haven’t tasted or smelled anything since Monday. I made some delicious looking chocolate chip cookies the other day & some nice looking cranberry/walnut bread that has entered the pathway to my belly but without any flavors attached to it.
And just by calling my super amazingly smart friend Noriko, she made the point that I might be vitamin deficient….which is why I don’t have my smell or taste buds working. Duh…..off I’m now having my husband run to the store for my long lost prenatal pills I haven’t been eating.
Psst…..I do have to admit though….I try to avoid my everything to have to eat supplements as I like to find all the nutrients through clean eating but I guess at this point in society we will have to rely on supplemental food & nutrition whether we like it or not – even if we juice & smoothie up our mornings with organic & healthy foods like I have done for the past year or so….
There is an internal battle in my body & I cannot in the world figure out what is causing it. My body is now back in inflammation mode.
This past weekend I thought I was allergic from the vog so I took myself
& my mat & did a little Bikram yoga….but I shouldn’t have done that. I ended up with a real cold. And my body is still in recovery mode from it….on top off the cold my body put itself in inflammation mode again.
I have been drinking a bit too much ginger, which has thinned out my blood a little too much. So I’m trying to find other natural remedies to heal inflammation.
Any recommendations are more than welcome!
So it’s Valentines day tomorrow & it is a day of love. I noticed a few people talking about how we should love ourselves before we can give love to each other, which is soo true. The tips is to take care of yourself, meditate & rejuvenate.
One thought I had in all of this loving yourself is that sometimes it can be difficult. I find myself being my worst critic. When I used to smoke cigarettes I had days where I couldn’t look myself in the eyes in the mirror because I despised my skin, hair & overall well-being. However, after finding yoga & taking my journeys to the hot yoga studio, I started being more content with myself. Additionally, the pregnancy really made me love myself. My hair, skin & baby bump made me feel beautiful.
Today I have days of ups & downs on whether I love myself. Postnatal changes are the main reason but I think the deeper idea with loving yourself is not really about the meditation & fluff (as I call it) but more whether you accept the person you see in the mirror. Do you feel that the person you look at in the mirror assemble the person of how you feel who you are? Does those eyes approve of your inner & outer self? Do you feel that you are taking care of this person in the mirror like the way you are taking care of your mother, father, friends & dearly close ones?
Today was a day that I just wanted to wake up tomorrow. I think my postnatal hormones are still playing tricks on me. It would never dawn on me before my pregnancy (& yoga) that my mood fluctuations was hormonal changes that the body went through. I never had this connection with my body before.
Now after the pregnancy almost 8 months ago with the combination of yoga & eating clean – I can totally feel if the hormones are playing tricks in my body. The moodiness, skin changes & overall body feels different. But I have found that the best & only curable solution for my hormonal days is to just put my workout shoes on or to grab my mat & exercise. There is no pill in the world that can make your mind, body & hormones feel better then some exercise. And if the weather allows give your body & lungs the treat of doing your workout outside. The best happy pill that exists.
So I have written about this topic once before. But today was the first time I really felt the difference between my left versus right side. Just for the past few weeks my body has opened up a lot more. I haven’t done more yoga but I had two one-on-one Ashtanga practice session with a great teacher who showed me how to align myself properly. She pinpointed my flaws & showed me how to correct them.
Additionally, I took a few hip opening classes at home as I know I need to open up my hips a lot more. So working on my flaws have really helped & improved my practice dramatically for just a few weeks.
Today I went & did the primary series class – and it went really good on my right side but not on my left side…..so for the next week I’m going to mainly focus on my left side since that is where I tend to hide all my tension.
Let’s see how my left versus right side progress will go. It is much easier said than done. Progress update to be continued…
For the past two weeks I have started to find discipline in doing yoga at home. It has gone really well! And I have gone through each streamed class without a stop. But…..(of course there is a but to this story)… in order for me to get started with my yoga class I need to drink a little coffee.
I’m not sure why I really need to sip that super tasty coffee. But it really feels good to have had a few sips of coffee with lots of sugar before I place my feet on the mat & flow away in front of yogaglo.
A very strange new habit I have created. Isn’t it amazing how we create new habits when we least want them…
Yesterday my little man & I was playing in the yoga/play room. He was crawling & pulling himself up on anything he could grab on to. I was playing around him with my yoga moves doing peekaboos through my asanas. In between the peekaboos I was trying to find some hang time in my handstands against Mr. Wall.
While we where both playing I realized that we where both on the same learning curve. My 7 1/2 month doing all he can to find his balance whereas I myself is working on finding my balance that I lost during the 9 months of pregnancy.
It amazed me that us mamas loose our core/bandhas during pregnancy and actually end up on the same level as our babies (if you are a yogini like myself – you will think that you lost it all!) It fascinated me that we have to start from scratch just like our babies.
Lately I really have been wanting to bake. I have had this crazy urge to just become a baker. Believe me – I have never been successful in baking! Everything turns out flat, hard & in the garbage disposal.
A few weeks ago I realized in order to succeed in baking, you need to follow the instructions to the penny… No wonder I haven’t been able to succeed baking anything because I really despise following instructions. Every time someone is telling me what to do I turn into a teenager, I turn my head & feet & walk the other way.
Analyzing myself over this behavior & having this crazy urge for baking – I decided it is time to grow up & learn how to follow instructions. So my self-discipline, coaching, yogi-improving self have decided to start learning how to follow instructions through the simple method of baking. Once I am able to conquer this task without cringing I shall have learned to master obedience in following & adapting to what other people instruct me to do.
….so my first baking project & urge this morning was to master how to make some blueberry/cream cheese filled scones. And look it! They came out delicious! 1-1 to mastering following the recipe this morning! However, I have to admit, I did have some moments where I didn’t want to follow the recipe and just wanted to pour in more sugar, butter & cream because it didn’t feel right… the cringes & twitches where there but I managed to follow through.
Isn’t it amazing how we need comfort? Some people find comfort in food, some find comfort in always wearing a blanket while sleeping, some people find comfort in shopping….most of us have found comfort in our iPhone…..believe me! You are probably thinking that you aren’t tied to your phone….but leave it away for an hour or two & you will most likely find your anxiety level rise unusually. (To some people the comfort has turned into an addiction but that is another story.)
The other day I watched a documentary about Dalai Lama & they showed how the Buddhist monks spend hours & dedication in creating & working on a piece of art. However once the piece of art was assembled they went & destroyed it. The reasoning is that they want to discourage themselves from comfort.
Here I’m laying in my bed with my blanket wrapped around me, wearing my favorite pajamas & chewing away on some real tasty Swedish licorice – scribbling my blog post on my iPhone. All in the comfort of some cozy lights & a cuddly baby laying right next to me. All doing the opposite of what the Buddhist monk is working on conquering. (Except for my baby) – I do know that I need to work on my comfort. Lowering my need of having comfort around me. The less ties we got to anything external the easier it is to live life to the fullest.
Just a few days ago my in-laws left from having spent a month living in our little tiki hut. It’s nice to have visitors but it is really nice to have your daily routine & lifestyle back to normal even if it is family who are visiting. After spent 2 days of cleaning & rearranging the house back to my own comfort, I finally got to get creative in my kitchen. I am now back to my morning juicing ritual & decided to try to make some juice pulp infused burgers served with a tzatziki inspired potato salad.
I’m going to be really creative with the juice pulp starting from yesterday! I feel horrible each time I throw away all the pulp in the garbage knowing that it’s real food that doesn’t need to be spoiled. So next project will most likely be some baking. I’m thinking maybe some orange pulp infused poundcake.
And yes – the flavor & taste was really good! Much better than I had envisioned it to taste! Definitely a keeper in my recipe library!
A while ago I used to consciously work on an emotional trait that I wanted to enhance. During this past week the feeling of needing to work on my perspective/viewpoints from a different angle has really “bugged” my mind.
Therefore, I decided to follow my intuitive instinct & consciously work on viewing my daily habits, viewpoints & input from a different angle. The perspective work has been slightly challenging as I have noticed that I love the comfort I feel & have of most of my habits, viewpoints & thoughts. I like the control I believe I have in those traits as well.
It is a work in progress like everything else but I have started slowly. I even decided to change my morning walk to the opposite route. The reason for the route change is because it lets me see the road, walkway & the actual walk from a new perspective. It’s like taking a picture! If you angel the camera a different way the angle/view will show the object from a different viewpoint.
And sometimes….the view is better on the other side.
Just a few days ago I finished reading the book “Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. A book that helped opening up my mind to be more conscious about myself. Once finished I went & purchased the book “A New Earth” by the same author. And I’m finding myself extending my night readings past midnight. Such an intriguing & philosophical book! I’m only at 21% but already feeling anxious about it ending too fast.
As I’m reading through the pages I get this epiphany feeling while reading about the ego. I believe that we have a mind, body & soul connection. However, of course nutrition, exercise & general external aspects of our environment trigger our health & well being. That we know through research, facts & data. But we don’t have the real facts of whether/how the mind & soul part of our consciousness plays tricks on our physical health…. So while reading – my epiphany lit up that it is our ego that is the source of our mind & soul connection. The more we realize, accept & understand our ego – the easier it will become to create a healthy well being through the mind, body & soul connection.
Just read that someone had found my blog by searching “how to live a yogic lifestyle”.
When I read that search word I figured I would write about how to live life through yoga & how it can turn into a lifestyle.
I personally think that the yogic lifestyle is not really something you can create. It is something that slowly builds from coming from the outside to within. You originally might have started a yoga class & got hooked for the physical benefit but slowly it becomes not only a physical practice but also makes you want to live, eat & behave more peacefully.
Once your body & mind slowly have found the taste for yoga you will notice that your attachments, feelings & emotions to both yourself & others will have changed. Your eating habits will have become more healthy. You accept yourself & others more. And on top of it all – you will feel a physical difference on the mat from one day to the other. You will notice your breath, heaviness & emotions on a total different level while you breathe & move yourself on your mat.
You will start to respect your body, mind & self much more than you ever will have done before.
I’m now sitting at Starbucks. Tick, tock, tick…..tock. I have now been at Starbucks for (almost) 3 days in a row – trying to get myself a hang of “working” again. From being away for about 7 months from designing, working & tweeking away on my computer – it feels really weird. Yesterday I was supposed to go and “work” & let my in-laws play with the baby. I instead let the gas pedal drive myself to the beach to shot my Instagram yoga pictures – which totally went down the drain….there where no joy in my yoga picture shoot. None of the pictures had any spark….so instead I took myself the my favorite store in the whole wide world – Whole Foods. The once glowy & inspirational food store felt like a gloomy, regular grocery store with no sparkles….walking through the isles I finally managed to find some peanut/coconut butter spread & pita chips. The only craved comfort food I could find while all I could do was to think about how much I missed my little one.
Chewing away on some dried-out peanut/coconut butter spread & pita chips didn’t make it feel better – tick, tock & tick, tock – finally the time felt right to take this gloomy mama back to her baby.
What a feeling to get to hold your little baby soul! The gloominess disappeared instantly!
Just a few weeks ago I wasn’t ready for Eckhart Tolle but today I am. I never ever found comfort in anything as much as I have done in his book “The Power of Now”. I guess magic happens when the student is ready. Now I crave my night readings with being in the now. Having my baby snuggle right next to me & living in the moment of pure unconditional love, calmness & the magical words of Mr. Tolle.
It is amazing how we change our perspective & how we one day need something and the other day we don’t.
Today I went to a new Power Vinyasa class. It was one hour of a decent workout. I loved the teacher, she reminded me about myself. Her aura , personality & appearance vibrated gratefulness, zen & calmness. And in most of her vocabulary she used the word beautiful – which I tend to use a lot as well…..so maybe the apple hasn’t fallen too far from the tree. Sometimes when I meet people I notice that they cannot relate to my word beautiful. At times I thought maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s my Swenglish vocabulary that isn’t broad enough since most of my feelings, experiences & moments relate to the word beautiful. And I question myself, is it really beautiful?
So finding a like minded person, who also happens to be a yoga teacher who sees everything to be beautiful was a beautiful experience in today’s practice!
I hope you will have a beautiful day just like I had.